Customizing Store Bought Curtains

Something I learned early on in my interior decorating education is that if you want to make money in this field, window coverings is a good specialty to get into- because they are expensive. Really expensive. I don’t plan on specializing in window coverings and I certainly don’t plan on spending hundreds of dollars on my own so I’ve been looking into inexpensive ways to get a custom look.

One of the rules of window coverings is to hang your drapes or curtains high and wide (see below for an example of what I mean).

windowright

This presents a problem to the average Jane who can’t afford custom made curtains. Most big box stores sell curtains that are either too short or not full enough to look good on wide windows. Thankfully the creative geniuses of the world have gifted us with many ideas for taking simple and inexpensive Ikea (or similarly priced) curtains and giving them custom credential.

Whether your need is extra length or width, or you simply want to make your curtains special, here are a few ideas for pimping out your store bought curtains:

This is a great way to add some pattern or colour to plain Jane curtains. Check out justagirlblog for great no-sew directions for making curtains like this.

bottomadded

A different take on the same idea, the next example definitely requires some sewing but looks fantastic.

Contrast fabric added to top of store bought curtain panel.

Contrast fabric added to top of store bought curtain panel.

If some extra volume is your need it is simple enough to sew store bought curtain panels together. Click here for a great tutorial by Bryn Alexandra on how to do this and ignore the section about how to pleat if that isn’t your fancy.

Each side of the window has two curtain panels sewed together.

Each side of the window has two curtain panels sewed together.

Adding trim is another simple and fun way to customize curtains:

These are custom made curtains but sewing some fridge along the edge of your store bought curtains is a piece of cake.

These are custom made curtains but sewing some fridge along the edge of your store bought curtains is a piece of cake.

If the thought of sewing makes you break into a sweat, how about paint? Here are some beautiful examples of curtains which have been customized with fabric paint:

paintedstripes

All you need to get this look is some tape to mark of your lines and some fabric paint.

This one would require a stencil.

This look is a bit trickier to achieve and requires a stencil.

I didn’t need more volume or length for the curtains I recently bought and I was pleased with the pattern but I did want to fancify them. Thanks to some simple instruction from Addicted2Decorating I was able to add some class to my $15 Ikea curtains:

Before

I'm not at all a fan of the shirred curtain top but love the bold indigo stripe.

I’m not at all a fan of the shirred curtain top but love the bold indigo stripe.

After, in my living room.

These type of pleats are called "euro pleats" or "parisian pleats" and are appropriate for both tradition and modern design.

These type of pleats are called “euro pleats” or “parisian pleats” and are appropriate for both traditional and modern design.

Another pleat you can easily make on store bought curtains is the pinched pleat which gives more of a traditional look. You can use the same directions as given in the tutorial I mentioned above.

A more traditional pinch pleat.

A more traditional pinch pleat.

When you pleat the curtains they actually become drapes (the distinction is too convoluted for me to feel like getting into). If you do decide to pleat your store bought curtains take the cost of the drapery hardware into consideration. The drapery hooks were “donated” to me by my mother in law but the rings needed for hanging actually cost more than the curtains themselves ($7 per pack of 7 at Wallmart, I needed three packs). They aren’t that expensive but if money is tight it is important to add in.

Above are just a very few of the many options you have for customizing your store bought curtains. If the idea strikes up a desire for some DIY simply click on one of the links I noted above or have fun searching out your own DIY tutorials. If you find any good ones feel free to leave a link in the comments section!

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1 Comment

Filed under At home, Decorating Basics, DIY Projects

One response to “Customizing Store Bought Curtains

  1. Pingback: Customizing Ikea | fabrictherapy

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